A very good nuclear debate book…

Question:

Uhh, Jer, get with the program, man. Your references take into account construction fatalities from building solar systems.  This makes the references patently absurd and void. If you think that a power system which harnesses solar energy and converts it to electricity w/ no byproducts is in any way more "dangerous" than a power system which takes unstable matter and transforms it, producing highly dangerous radioactive waste matter (for which there is no satisfactory disposal method) and exposing millions within an expansive radius of any nuclear plant to a potential disaster of Chernobyl proportions where leukemia and throid cancers have risen significantly,  you are ignorant indeed.

1. Has anyone from jetsystem ever posted a scientifically based statement,     or is it always media hyperbole? I suggest you check some *other* sources, ones done correctly and don’t take contruction injuries and deaths into account.

2. Am I to assume that you post this challenge because you are unable     to cite published articles in support of your biases?

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – Newsgroups: sci.energy Organization: OGJ JET System G8How about you go to the library and look up the references yourself? G8From your response I conclude that you haven’t done this, and I’m not G8going to precis the works for you. G8                   "My thoughts are mine" Uhh, Jer, get with the program, man. Your references take into account construction fatalities from building solar systems.  This makes the references patently absurd and void. If you think that a power system which harnesses solar energy and converts it to electricity w/ no byproducts is in any way more "dangerous" than a power system which takes unstable matter and transforms it, producing highly dangerous radioactive waste matter (for which there is no satisfactory disposal method) and exposing millions within an expansive radius of any nuclear plant to a potential disaster of Chernobyl proportions where leukemia and throid cancers have risen significantly,  you are ignorant indeed. I suggest you check some *other* sources, ones done correctly and don’t take contruction injuries and deaths into account.

If you would trouble yourself to go to the Library and check out a copy of "Before It’s Too Late" by Bernard L. Cohen, as was previously suggested, you might learn something.  Alternately, look up the article "The Disposal of Radioactive Wastes From Fission Reactors" by Cohen in the June ’77 issue of Scientific American.  The article covers only a fraction of what the book does, but you might take it a little more seriously.  The editors of Scientific American certainly did. In it, you will find a detailed discussion of the risks of radioactive waste and disposal methods.  High level waste is composed of a number of isotopes.  In general, the shorter the half-life, the more dangerous an isotope is (because it decays so quickly).  But, obviously, once most of it decays, it  poses little radiation danger.  Anyway, typical waste from a nuclear reactor has a big radioactivity drop after ten years when the most active isotopes decay out. After 600 years it has lost 99% of its radioactivity!  The elements involved are both heavy and generally water insoluble, so it doesn’t take very much to keep it out of the environment.  It is nonsense to say we don’t have disposal methods that are good enough.  You can read a LOT more detail in the book.  There are many references, in case you doubt it. The point that Cohen was trying to make in the Nuclear versus solar discussion has been lost here, I think:  You can NOT examine risks of just one thing.  If you don’t choose nuclear power, you have to make some other choice.  Solar is a low energy density power source, so you need a lot of material to collect it. AND you need to mantain a lot of hardware.  AND you need to pay for it (right now, most solar is very expensive, so if you choose it as a major power source, you don’t have money for other important things).  AND you have more stuff to dispose off. It’s not just solar:  Choosing not to use ANY energy source — nuclear, solar, fossil, you name it — would doom most of the human population to death.  NOTHING is perfectly safe, there is some risk to any choice.     The most important thing I got out of the book is how often pure nonsense is printed about nuclear power.  A typical line in a newspaper article goes something like this, "The nuclear waste, which will remain radioactive for 100,000 years . . ." Virtually EVERYTHING is radioactive to some extent — and has been since the universe began.  It doesn’t matter if something *IS* radioactive, what matters is HOW radioactive it is.  That bit alone (and there are a lot more) makes most of the nuclear argument nonsense. So, at least bother to read the book.  If you aren’t willing to do that, I suspect you are worried that your beliefs might be shaken.

Response:

Bruce Hoglund writes: What is more important is the economics.  Nuclear "died" in the US because Wall Street, which also puts its money where its mouth is, realized that while a nuclear disaster that would kill many was extremely remote, the possibility of their multi-billion dollar investment turning to crap was fairly likely.  They stopped funding new reactors.  This caused the loss of nuclear plant orders to fall during the early 1970s (well before Three Mile Island accident in 1979).

I agree.  I think this has more to do with the technological approach selected.  Either to get lower average costs or to build empires (not sure which, anyone having insight feel free to jump in), utilities mostly built very large facilities that took years to complete.   Whatever the benefits, the detriment is, that limited their ability to respond to changing energy markets and circumstances. Both energy sources will be needed.  Having lived in the Southwestern US, I KNOW solar energy will become a significant energy source there.  Having lived in Germany for over 4 years, I have a hard time believing such a cloudy, northern (as far north as Canada!  Sorry Canada, I mean no offense.) place will have much of a solar electric future.

Agreed.  Canada has abundant resources of hydro, wind, and wood. Tom Gray Northeast Representative American Wind Energy Association Interested in energy and the environment?  The free electronic edition of _Wind Energy Weekly_ reports on energy-related environmental issues, energy policy, and wind industry trade news.  The electronic edition normally runs about 10kb in length. For a subscription, send me an e-mail request.  Please include information on your position, organization, and reason for interest in the publication.

Response:

G8"Categorically false"?  Several times in this newsgroup I’ve referred to G8two studies from the 1980′s (Inhaber in 1982, Holdren et al. in 1983) G8which show nuclear energy to be safer than *all* forms of renewable G8energy except hydro.  Now, instead of casting about proclamations about G8what is false and what isn’t, why don’t you post a reference to the G8scientific literature for once? G8 G8Because of the absolute absurdity of the claim.  Just because some G8amateur solar panel installers fell off a roof doesn’t make solar G8energy more hazardous than nuclear (of course, Chernobyl was still G8running in 1982/3).  How about posting some of the evidence that the G8writers ‘provide’? G8How about you go to the library and look up the references yourself? G8From your response I conclude that you haven’t done this, and I’m not G8going to precis the works for you. G8                   "My thoughts are mine" Uhh, Jer, get with the program, man. Your references take into account construction fatalities from building solar systems.  This makes the references patently absurd and void. If you think that a power system which harnesses solar energy and converts it to electricity w/ no byproducts is in any way more "dangerous" than a power system which takes unstable matter and transforms it, producing highly dangerous radioactive waste matter (for which there is no satisfactory disposal method) and exposing millions within an expansive radius of any nuclear plant to a potential disaster of Chernobyl proportions where leukemia and throid cancers have risen significantly,  you are ignorant indeed. I suggest you check some *other* sources, ones done correctly and don’t take contruction injuries and deaths into account.

Response:

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – "Categorically false"?  Several times in this newsgroup I’ve referred to two studies from the 1980′s (Inhaber in 1982, Holdren et al. in 1983) which show nuclear energy to be safer than *all* forms of renewable energy except hydro.  Now, instead of casting about proclamations about what is false and what isn’t, why don’t you post a reference to the scientific literature for once? Because of the absolute absurdity of the claim.  Just because some amateur solar panel installers fell off a roof doesn’t make solar energy more hazardous than nuclear (of course, Chernobyl was still running in 1982/3).  How about posting some of the evidence that the writers ‘provide’? How about you go to the library and look up the references yourself?   From your response I conclude that you haven’t done this, and I’m not going to precis the works for you.   I will summarize that the renewables generally do poorly in the categories of materials acquisition and construction.  Are you aware of how big a 1000MWe baseload solar or wind energy plant would be? —                   "My thoughts are mine"

I remember reading somewhere that if enough solar panels were setup to supply the world’s power needs, they would change the reflectivity of the earth enough that major climatic changes would wipe out mankind.                        Dave — Chemical Measurement Technologies Group         (208)526-9745 Lockheed Martin Idaho Idaho National Engineering Laboratory       Standard disclaimer here

Response:

I remember reading somewhere that if enough solar panels were setup to supply the world’s power needs, they would change the reflectivity of the earth enough that major climatic changes would wipe out mankind.

You didn’t actually *believe* that, did you?  It’s manifest nonsense, as a few back of the envelope calculations would demonstrate.  In particular, the change in absorbed solar radiation would be small compared to the expected forcing from CO2 buildup (and that is not going to "wipe out mankind", a rather grandios claim.)         Paul

Response:

DAI remember reading somewhere that if enough solar panels were setup to DAsupply the world’s power needs, they would change the reflectivity of DAthe earth enough that major climatic changes would wipe out mankind. Very improbable IMHO. I have seen and verified a calculation, that even considering 50% storage losses all of Germany’s electric power consumption could be supplied by an area less than that currently sealed. It can not be done by roofs alone, but adding in streets and other paved surfaces you have about double of what’s needed. Tschoe wa                 Axel

Response:

dcollier from the Oil and Gas Journal (otherwise known as jetsystem) /* If you think that a power system which harnesses solar energy and converts it to electricity w/ no byproducts is in any way more "dangerous" than a power system which takes unstable matter and transforms it, producing highly dangerous radioactive waste matter (for which there is no satisfactory disposal method) and exposing millions within an expansive radius of any nuclear plant to a potential disaster of Chernobyl proportions where leukemia and throid cancers have risen significantly,  you are ignorant indeed. I suggest you check some *other* sources, ones done correctly and don’t take contruction injuries and deaths into account. */ Several points: Solar cell manufacture and composites like those used for wind turbines do indeed produce toxic byproducts, some of which never decay. No one has ever been killed by exposure to the byproducts of commercial reactors in the United States since they have been very adequately controlled and stored for over 35 years. There is no indication whatsoever of an increased rate of leukemia in the area surrounding Chernobyl.  There has been a increase of approximately 300 cases of thyroid cancers, mostly in children, but that particular cancer is normally quite curable. Finally, why should we ignore the construction deaths that would occur for the building of huge facilities like solar collectors and windmills.  What about the permanent alteration of significant ecosystems and other hazards?  It would take between 10 and 50 square miles of land to allow the construction of a single 1000 MW electric plant using either of those two very diffuse energy sources. Rod Adams Adams Atomic Engines, Inc P. O. Box 1017 Tarpon Springs, Fl. 34688-1017 Can a nuclear power plant replace oil burning engines?  OF COURSE!! The July issue of AEI includes a rare picture of the Nuclear Ship Savannah along with an analysis of her performance.  For a free trial of Atomic Energy Insights send an e-mail request (subject line: Atomic Energy

Response:

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – (Jeremy Whitlock) writes: "Categorically false"?  Several times in this newsgroup I’ve referred to two studies from the 1980′s (Inhaber in 1982, Holdren et al. in 1983) which show nuclear energy to be safer than *all* forms of renewable energy except hydro.  Now, instead of casting about proclamations about what is false and what isn’t, why don’t you post a reference to the scientific literature for once? Because of the absolute absurdity of the claim.  Just because some amateur solar panel installers fell off a roof doesn’t make solar energy more hazardous than nuclear (of course, Chernobyl was still running in 1982/3).  How about posting some of the evidence that the writers ‘provide’?

  Well, you could go look up the references which were cited….   But the basic argument is that because solar energy is so diffuse,   the surface area of solar collectors must be large, and the installation   of the collectors is rather labour intensive.  Using industrial accident   rates (which are pretty well-known from experience), the casualties can   be predicted rather accurately.  It’s not a matter of "amateur solar   panel installers."   — B. Alan Guthrie, III            |  When the going gets tough,                                 |  the tough hide under the table.                                 |                    E. Blackadder

Response:

MKIs nuclear energy safer than solar energy?  The answer is yes. Well, I was interested until I read this bit of nonsense which just cannot be supported under the umbrella of scientific research.  Once I read something that is categorically false, sorry, but I lose interest. Sounds like more pro-nuclear fodder to me…

The safety of the 2 energy sources (solar & nuclear) is not practically important because both are so safe that it is almost beyond our ability to predict the "danger".  My proof is the insurance industry, which puts its money where its mouth is, does not charge higher premiums for nuclear workers like it does pilots.  Living is dangerous, the only way you can be sure you will not die in the future is to die now… Not acceptable! What is more important is the economics.  Nuclear "died" in the US because Wall Street, which also puts its money where its mouth is, realized that while a nuclear disaster that would kill many was extremely remote, the possibility of their multi-billion dollar investment turning to crap was fairly likely.  They stopped funding new reactors.  This caused the loss of nuclear plant orders to fall during the early 1970s (well before Three Mile Island accident in 1979). Both energy sources will be needed.  Having lived in the Southwestern US, I KNOW solar energy will become a significant energy source there.  Having lived in Germany for over 4 years, I have a hard time believing such a cloudy, northern (as far north as Canada!  Sorry Canada, I mean no offense.) place will have much of a solar electric future. Bruce Hoglund

Response:

"Categorically false"?  Several times in this newsgroup I’ve referred to two studies from the 1980′s (Inhaber in 1982, Holdren et al. in 1983) which show nuclear energy to be safer than *all* forms of renewable energy except hydro.  Now, instead of casting about proclamations about what is false and what isn’t, why don’t you post a reference to the scientific literature for once? Because of the absolute absurdity of the claim.  Just because some amateur solar panel installers fell off a roof doesn’t make solar energy more hazardous than nuclear (of course, Chernobyl was still running in 1982/3).  How about posting some of the evidence that the writers ‘provide’?

How about you go to the library and look up the references yourself?   From your response I conclude that you haven’t done this, and I’m not going to precis the works for you.   I will summarize that the renewables generally do poorly in the categories of materials acquisition and construction.  Are you aware of how big a 1000MWe baseload solar or wind energy plant would be?  –                    "My thoughts are mine"

Response:

MKIs nuclear energy safer than solar energy?  The answer is yes. Well, I was interested until I read this bit of nonsense which just cannot be supported under the umbrella of scientific research.  Once I read something that is categorically false, sorry, but I lose interest. Sounds like more pro-nuclear fodder to me…

Sounds like more jetsystem feel-good, techno-babble to me . . .   Seems I recall a particularly vicious heat wave back in the US mid-west circa late 70′s or early 80s’.  It was a terrible tragedy in terms of loss of life due to the (solar) heat(ing).  Sounds to me like I’d be justified in printing some bumpers stickers that read:  SOLAR – 123 —                                                                                      NUCLEAR – 0 Only fair considering the amount of electricity being generated by nuclear reactors to run the air conditioners to keep the death toll from being any worse than it was? "Politicians are like baby diapers.  They need to be changed frequently – and for the same reason!"

Response:

Larry Taylor writes: Seems I recall a particularly vicious heat wave back in the US mid-west circa late 70′s or early 80s’.  It was a terrible tragedy in terms of loss of life due to the (solar) heat(ing).  Sounds to me like I’d be justified in printing some bumpers stickers that read:  SOLAR – 123                                            NUCLEAR – 0 Only fair considering the amount of electricity being generated by nuclear reactors to run the air conditioners to keep the death toll from being any worse than it was?

Make it COAL – 123 (due to global warming) and you’ll get my vote.  8^) Tom Gray Northeast Representative American Wind Energy Association Interested in energy and the environment?  The free electronic edition of _Wind Energy Weekly_ reports on energy-related environmental issues, energy policy, and wind industry trade news.  The electronic edition normally runs about 10kb in length. For a subscription, send me an e-mail request.  Please include information on your position, organization, and reason for interest in the publication.

Response:

(Jeremy Whitlock) writes: "Categorically false"?  Several times in this newsgroup I’ve referred to two studies from the 1980′s (Inhaber in 1982, Holdren et al. in 1983) which show nuclear energy to be safer than *all* forms of renewable energy except hydro.  Now, instead of casting about proclamations about what is false and what isn’t, why don’t you post a reference to the scientific literature for once?

Because of the absolute absurdity of the claim.  Just because some amateur solar panel installers fell off a roof doesn’t make solar energy more hazardous than nuclear (of course, Chernobyl was still running in 1982/3).  How about posting some of the evidence that the writers ‘provide’? Will Stewart

Response:

MKIs nuclear energy safer than solar energy?  The answer is yes. Well, I was interested until I read this bit of nonsense which just cannot be supported under the umbrella of scientific research.  Once I read something that is categorically false, sorry, but I lose interest. Sounds like more pro-nuclear fodder to me…

Response:

MKIs nuclear energy safer than solar energy?  The answer is yes. Well, I was interested until I read this bit of nonsense which just cannot be supported under the umbrella of scientific research.  Once I read something that is categorically false, sorry, but I lose interest.

"Categorically false"?  Several times in this newsgroup I’ve referred to two studies from the 1980′s (Inhaber in 1982, Holdren et al. in 1983) which show nuclear energy to be safer than *all* forms of renewable energy except hydro.  Now, instead of casting about proclamations about what is false and what isn’t, why don’t you post a reference to the scientific literature for once?  –                    "My thoughts are mine"

Response:

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -lier Newsgroups: sci.energy Organization: OGJ JET System Lines: 9 MKIs nuclear energy safer than solar energy?  The answer is yes. Well, I was interested until I read this bit of nonsense which just cannot be supported under the umbrella of scientific research.  Once I read something that is categorically false, sorry, but I lose interest. Sounds like more pro-nuclear fodder to me…

So, sounds like you’re saying, "don’t confuse me with facts, I’ve already made up my mind." — (* your name can appear here for only $25.95 / month!  Act now *)     Karl Johanson,  Victoria B.C. Canada     The other Co-editor of "Under The Ozone Hole"           Please let me know if you didn’t get this.

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